How COVID created a surge in stamp & coin collecting

So, you’re stuck inside during the pandemic, and you have some time to kill. Seems like an excellent opportunity to pick up a new hobby.

Maybe, say, stamp or coin collecting?

That’s exactly what a huge number of house-bound North Americans did over the last year. We take a look at how COVID-19 caused a surge in collecting and why these age-old pastimes have become oh-so-popular right now.


Stamp collections: Leaving a mark

The American Philatelic Society (APS) had a banner year in 2020. According to the Executive Director of APS, Scott English, web traffic and sales figures nearly doubled compared to the year before. The organization also saw membership applications grow significantly, with half of new applicants being women and millennials.

“We’ve seen membership applications grow significantly,” English told Newsday last October. And they’ve also seen a demographic shift in new members. “Applications are substantially more female, diverse and younger.”

[Read our blog: Stamps: All the Accessories You Need to Protect Them and Keep Them Safe]

And stamp creators have taken notice of the hobby’s popularity. Since mid-March last year, more than a dozen countries have issued COVID-19 stamps to commemorate this unprecedented event, to fundraise and to try and bring people together in challenging times.


Coin collections: They’re no small change

But coin collecting has seen even more growth. A survey by The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) found that sales of U.S. rare coins sold in 2020 reached nearly $369 million, compared to $325 million in 2019.

The PNG also named 2020 “one of the strongest U.S. rare coin and paper money markets in recent years,” despite the cancellation of most major coin shows as a result of the pandemic.

[Read our blog: Numismatics: What you should know about coin collecting]

Coin collecting is on the upswing in Canada, too. According to Paul Johnson, Executive Secretary of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA), new memberships are increasing sharply. “People are looking for something to do with their time, and that has been converted into new memberships for the RCNA.”


Why people love collecting stamps and coins

Coin collecting dates back to the 14th century and stamp collecting to the mid-1800s, but the reason people love collecting stamps and coins today likely remains the same.

For many, collecting was a childhood pastime, and rediscovering those old hobbies helps us get in touch with our inner child.

[Read our blog: Everything you need to to start a coin collection]

But there’s also something much more basic about why we enjoy collecting. Collecting brings out the thrill of the hunt. There’s a sweet satisfaction you achieve when you complete a collection or finally find that rare stamp or coin you’ve been searching high and low for.

And when we’re tired of staring at our screens all day, organizing a stamp or coin collection is a refreshingly non-digital way to spend our time.

There’s also a sense of relaxation and fulfillment that comes with investing in a rewarding hobby.

But mostly, right now, we do it because we have the time.


How you can get started

Want help getting started with a stamp or coin collection? Check out our selection of stamps and coins, or get in touch with our knowledgeable and experienced team for support with creating your very own collection.